Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Would Text Messages Help You Remember Your Sunscreen?

There is an interesting article from Science Daily today regarding a study done by the University of California-Davis health systems to assess the effectiveness of daily text-message reminders to wear sunscreen over a six-week period.   

During the study, 70 participants aged 18+ were asked to apply sunscreen daily - half were sent text message reminders (which included daily weather information and a reminder to apply sunscreen)  and half were not (control group).  At the end of the study, the group that received the daily text messages had a daily adherence rate of 56.1% - versus the control group who had only a 30% daily adherence rate. 

The study's authors concluded that "despite continuing educational efforts, a wide gap persists between patients' understanding of the harmful effects of excessive sun exposure and their regular application of sunscreens...The short-term results of our study suggest that cellular telephone text-message reminders are a low-cost, scalable and effective method of bridging this knowledge-action gap. Introduction of a program that incorporates text-message reminders to a large population may be an innovative preventive health measure against the development of skin cancer."

What do you think?  Would you want a text message to be sent everyday to remind you to wear sunscreen?  Though I regularly apply sunscreen (via my moisturizer, foundation and applied to any skin that will see the sun), I certainly would not mind getting a little "nudge" every day.

The article is here:

Remember...beautiful skin is in and having beautiful skin means WEARING SUNSCREEN EVERYDAY! :-)

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